Patterico's Pontifications


Rosa “Erica Blair” Brooks: War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength … and Republicans Caused the Mortgage Crisis

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,Economics,General — Patterico @ 12:55 am

No offense to our commenter by the name of Eric Blair . . . but this is truly one of the most Orwellian pieces I have ever seen. Brooks takes a crisis caused by Democrats like Barack Obama, who took money from Fannie and Freddie and did nothing, and blames it Republicans like John McCain, who championed regulation of the relevant entities.

Black is white. Up is down.

Brooks reminds us of McCain’s involvement in the Keating Five scandal, and then suggests that McCain has sat on his hands throughout the past several years on the mortgage crisis — while good work on the issue was being done by, Brooks claims (and I’m not kidding), Barack Obama:

Could all this have been prevented? Sure. It’s not rocket science: A sensible package of regulatory reforms — like those Barack Obama has been pushing since well before the current meltdown began — could have kept this most recent crisis from escalating, just as maintaining reasonable regulatory regimes for S&Ls in the ’80s could have prevented that crisis (McCain learned this the hard way).

Not to belabor the point, Rosa — but name one thing Barack Obama has actually done about the mortgage crisis.

But, despite his political near-death experience as a member of the Keating Five, McCain continued to champion deregulation, voting in 2000, for instance, against federal regulation of the kind of financial derivatives at the heart of today’s crisis.

Shades of the Keating Five scandal don’t end there. This week, for instance, news broke that until August, the lobbying firm owned by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was paid $15,000 a month by Freddie Mac, one of the mortgage giants implicated in the current crisis (now taken over by the government and under investigation by the FBI). Apparently, Freddie Mac’s plan was to gain influence with McCain’s campaign in hopes that he would help shield it from pesky government regulations. And until very recently, Freddie Mac executives probably figured money paid to Davis’ firm was money well spent. “I’m always in favor of less regulation,” McCain told the Wall Street Journal in March.

These days, McCain is singing a different tune.

Gee, it’s a good thing Barack Obama didn’t take any money from Fannie and Freddie!

Time for some facts. Enjoy this Fox News report:

Watch Barney Frank talk about how there’s no crisis, and see the John McCain quote about how we need regulation:

Now, watch Bill Clinton say the Republicans tried to get something done, but got blocked by Democrats, who were “resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”



  1. Read some of the freakish comments on the Tapper story regarding Clinton. Clinton gives a nod to McCain and the Democrat lunatics are immediately willing to throw under the bus their Party’s most successful President in the past 45 years.

    They’re actually threatening him.

    Unhinged doesn’t begin to describe the rabid insanity of the left.

    Guaranteed if they ever take power they’ll shiv each other just as fast as anyone else.

    Comment by Apogee (366e8b) — 9/26/2008 @ 2:40 am

  2. Sadly, the facts and the truth will matter not. We’ll see Bush and the Republicans trashed for this. Hell, some Dems will say the Bush should have forced the Dems to go along.

    Comment by darkpixel (af11f1) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:10 am

  3. This video of Barney Frank should have played on an endless loop during the meeting today at the WH.

    Its a disgrace that Frank is allowed to go on camera and try to blame anyone other than he and Dodd for the Fannie/Freddie fiasco that is at the heart of this problem.

    Comment by WLS (c1b09d) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:17 am

  4. There is nothing on Zerobama’s web site regarding his solution for this problem. Don’t forget that Zerobama’s first response was to ignore this crisis and to continue campaigning.

    Comment by Perfect Sense (9d1b08) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:46 am

  5. I thought his first response was to urge restraint on both sides. ;-)

    Comment by Icy Truth (f6198c) — 9/26/2008 @ 5:23 am

  6. Guaranteed if they ever take power they’ll shiv each other just as fast as anyone else.

    – Lest we forget, it was during the Clinton administration that bodies were falling left and right (so to speak).

    Comment by Icy Truth (f6198c) — 9/26/2008 @ 5:26 am

  7. The crisis did not begin with Fannie and Freddie Look at the graph.
    More here including a discussion of the chart I think you picked up from Kevin Hassett.

    And as of this morning the republicans own this mess.

    Comment by Readnek (105b91) — 9/26/2008 @ 7:25 am

  8. I think we should all pay attention to DeLong and Krugman.

    Comment by JD (41e64f) — 9/26/2008 @ 7:34 am

  9. Re Orwell, don’t forget “Diversity is Strength.”

    Comment by dchamil (2bbdce) — 9/26/2008 @ 7:41 am

  10. Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, Rangel and anyone else (regardless of party) who played any role in not reining in Fannie and Freddie need to be voted out of office.

    Dodd is rambling about executive compensation…someone needs to ask him about the money he got from Fannie and Freddie over the years…looks like he made out pretty good in this mess!

    Comment by fmfnavydoc (0dd45c) — 9/26/2008 @ 8:00 am

  11. There is a reason for Clinton claiming he tried to stop this mess.

    He signed the Financial Services Modernization Act, which financial analysts claim is behind this mess.

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (a757fd) — 9/26/2008 @ 8:05 am

  12. First quuestion regarding exective compensation put to Dodd: “your feelings on former Countrywide CEO Mozillo’s annual compensation, please?”

    Comment by Dmac (e639cc) — 9/26/2008 @ 8:23 am

  13. Guaranteed if they ever take power they’ll shiv each other just as fast as anyone else.

    Reminds me of the aftermath of both the French and Russian revolutions–the first of which led to the rise of Napoleon (and 20 years of war) and the second of which led to 10 million dead Russians and eventually the Cold War.

    How’s that for Hope and Change?

    Comment by Joel (c01e7c) — 9/26/2008 @ 8:25 am

  14. Please, Lord, give McCain the guts to bring this up in the debates.

    Comment by Patricia (ee5c9d) — 9/26/2008 @ 8:56 am

  15. Krugman is a genius. He’s correctly predicted nine of the last three recessions.

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 9/26/2008 @ 8:58 am

  16. Mav’s opening statement at the Debate…

    My friends,

    Tonight we are hear to talk about foreign policy, but I feel that there is an issue that all of you want to hear our positions about – this country’s financial crisis. My opponent has, in his 2 years in the Senate has collected over $100,000.00 in financial contributions from current and former employees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He has at least two former executives of Fannie Mae that are currently advisers to his campaign. He has not presented a bill or voted for any sort of oversight on the financial markets during his time in the Senate, but had encouraged funding of programs that have engaged in fraudulent practices, such as ACORN, which have engaged in deceptive voter registration practices and financial mismanagement of funds to the disadvantage in our inner cities.

    This campaign is about restoring your faith in the President of the United States and the Congress, not in allowing Washington to “do business as usual”. Your vote for me, and my running mate, is a vote for true change, change that I will fight for. I am the real candidate for change.

    Thank you.

    (Looking at Barry O the Media Ho)… Your turn, B&^%$…

    Barry O glooking glazed eyed into the cameras…

    Comment by fmfnavydoc (0dd45c) — 9/26/2008 @ 10:08 am

  17. Dear Patterico:

    Thanks for the kind words. George Orwell warned against the kind of sculpting of reality for political purposes that you are describing. You can call this woman whatever you like.

    But I suspect calling her “Ms. O’Brien” is better than “Erica Blair.”

    Just my two cents. But it does fit her role, I think.

    Comment by Eric Blair (2708f4) — 9/26/2008 @ 10:21 am

  18. The acrobatics being done on the Right to get the stink of this crisis off’n themselves and onto the Democrats, makes me think they doth protest too much.

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/26/2008 @ 1:26 pm

  19. Peter,

    Do you also believe when a man claims to be innocent and vigorously protests his conviction, you use those protests as proof of guilt because he protests too much?

    Comment by DRJ (c953ab) — 9/26/2008 @ 1:36 pm

  20. Right is left.

    The one’s who’ve created this monster were just really coddling a Democrat liberal created beast.

    Over 12 years controlling Congress. and 8 years controlling the executive branch of GWB, who had a rubber stamp GOP Congress for 6 years…yet, no mention about the CRA, a sound policy that worked to diminish redlining all through the 80s and the 90s being gutted of over sight and regulation for banks with more than a Billion in assets (formerly the lessened restrictions applied only to banks with assest less than $250 million) by a GOP Congress in 2005, the very same Rubber stamp congress and GWB admin.

    So that the tap was opened full throttle and and more more mortgages could be made available to bundle into securities to the ravenous investment banks…even flawed and broken mortgages with insane balloon payments, issued like cheeseburgers at Micky D’s so that more and more money could be pumped into the securities, with faulty ratings from the credit rating agencies…

    Holy cr*p. There is no way the GOP is going to be able to run and hide from being the architects of this clusterf*ck.

    But go ahead and try.

    Really go ahead…

    Give it your best shot, Republicans.

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/26/2008 @ 1:39 pm

  21. Peter: Why would you think Clinton was lying?

    Comment by Federal Dog (1404a2) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:00 pm

  22. #19

    Do you also believe when a man claims to be innocent and vigorously protests his conviction, you use those protests as proof of guilt because he protests too much?

    If I knew this man’s track record and that for close to 30 years he’d been pushing deregulation and less government oversight and trickle down economics and laissez-faire economics like a drug dealer pushing smack, and aforementioned individual sold his biggest customer (the American Economy) is on life support from an OD of his “product” and might not live?

    Hells yeah!!


    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:11 pm

  23. and aforementioned individual sold his biggest customer (the American Economy), an OD of his “product” and might not live?


    (I need a damned editor.)

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:14 pm

  24. Peter, you need to catch up with news.
    The CRA system is the Democrat Nirvana of “affordable” housing. Democrats, after stuffing their pockets full of cash from lobbyists and screaming “racist” to anyone opposing them, they will have the program back and running within five years. Within 15 years, they be blaming their debacle on the Republicans.

    Comment by Perfect Sense (9d1b08) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:18 pm

  25. # 21

    Peter: Why would you think Clinton was lying?

    Comment by Federal Dog — 9/26/2008 @ 3:00 pm

    Good question. Classic Clinton. He works both sides against the middle and always has, which is why Repubs had such a hard time ever getting any traction on him when he was in office and despised him, he outflanked them every single time.

    Now things have changed, I think he’s very conscious of how this disaster might effect his legacy seeing that the Community Reinvestment Act was further expanded under his tenure, but it’s misleading, not to mention disingenuous that he’s presenting this as he and the Republicans VS. the Dems. It’s funny actually.

    I don’t think the CRA expanded under his tenure is to blam for what happened with the sub prime mess. Even more damning it is the Republican led and Bush approved revision of the CRA that in Sept. 2005, when an amendment was added that stripped the rules tests required for medium investment banks (from the RNC BLog):

    Exempt banks with assets between $250 million and $1 billion, referred to as “intermediate small banks,” from the data reporting obligations the current CRA regulations imposed on banks with assets larger than $250 million.

    Subject intermediate small banks to a two-part test (retail lending and community development) instead of the current three-part test (lending, investment, and service). For intermediate small banks, a satisfactory community development rating, as well as a satisfactory retail lending rating, would be necessary for an overall rating of “Satisfactory.”

    But, I just read this interesting piece from Prospect magazine saying that as much as the Right wants to make this about Democratic passage of the CRA by Carter in 1977 (!?), how is it it would work fine more or less for 30 years and then BLAMMO!! Depression-level National emergency economic trouble appears 7 years into the Bush Admin.


    CRA didn’t bring about the reckless lending at the heart of the crisis. Just as sub-prime lending was exploding, CRA was losing force and relevance. And the worst offenders, the independent mortgage companies, were never subject to CRA — or any federal regulator. Law didn’t make them lend. The profit motive did.

    80% of sub prime loans had very little or nothing to do with CRA.

    But getting back to Clinton. Look, by all foreseeable predictions he and Hillary would be looking at recapturing the White HOuse right about now and destroying the GOP nominee (and believe me, Hillary & Bill play 100% harder than Obama) with this economic news and their combined presence. So I think the bitterness has gone for him yet, and the only reason they’re even playing nice with Dems is because they’re already planning Hillary’s 2012 run and hoping it’s not more like 2016.

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/26/2008 @ 3:44 pm

  26. It is disturbing but not surprising that the media continue to libel Sen. McCain with the Keating 5 label, when the dem special investigator, Robert Bennet (a democrat himself and defender of Bill Clinton) found no culpability on Sen. McCain’s part and demanded that the dem panel release McCain from the investigation. The dem panel refused because then it would have become the Keating 4 ALL DEMOCRATS. Mr. Bennett has gone on talk shows telling everyone who would listen that Sen. McCain’s honesty and integrity is beyond doubt and that McCain had nothing to do with the real Keating 4 villains and that it was a political witch hunt to include McCain and not to release him because of his innocence.

    Comment by eaglewingz08 (98291e) — 9/26/2008 @ 5:57 pm

  27. Peter, it is not a surprise to me that you ignore actual events to maintain your fatuous belief.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/26/2008 @ 6:07 pm

  28. If I knew this man’s track record and that for close to 30 years he’d been pushing deregulation and less government oversight and trickle down economics and laissez-faire economics like a drug dealer pushing smack, and aforementioned individual sold his biggest customer (the American Economy) is on life support from an OD of his “product” and might not live?

    McCain is on record as speaking in favor of more regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (As they are creations of Congress, they should be much more regulated than private banks.)

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (a757fd) — 9/26/2008 @ 6:17 pm

  29. Why would you think Clinton was lying?

    Clinton would have a motivation to lie about trying to reform the lending industry.

    He himself signed a law repealing the Glass-Stegall Act back in 1999. The law repealing Glass-Stegall is said by financial analysts to be the cause of the bank failures today.

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (a757fd) — 9/26/2008 @ 6:19 pm

  30. Michael, except that no one can really tie the repeal of Glass-Stegall to a fundamental cause of the crisis. Whereas Fannie Mae’s subsidization of crappy loans is central.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/26/2008 @ 6:24 pm

  31. One of the best YouTube videos that explains the present financial crises and its causes can be found here: here

    It’s fast paced and you may need to rewind and repeat through it with the videos pause and play button, but it’s well worth it. Embrace the enlightenment.

    Comment by C. Norris (7d0f52) — 9/27/2008 @ 8:09 am

  32. Sorry, for the bum link. “The URL contained a malformed video ID.”, per YouTube. The best I can do is offer a cut & paste. Have a look at:

    “Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?”–o

    Comment by C. Norris (7d0f52) — 9/27/2008 @ 8:27 am

  33. That video is a load of over spun horse pucky.

    They pin it on Carter from 1977?? Ridiculous.

    Keep a close eye on all the graphs in that…almost w/o fail you can see the crisis began in 2005.

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/27/2008 @ 11:06 am

  34. I’ve been in commercial-residential real estate since ’79 and its not “ridiculous”. BTW, THIS particular “crisis” was beginning about 1999. If 911 hadn’t caused the nation to pause, it would have come to a head in 2005 (ignorant moron).

    Comment by C. Norris (7d0f52) — 9/27/2008 @ 12:05 pm

  35. “That video is a load of over spun horse pucky.”

    The same can be said about the sources you cite.

    “They pin it on Carter from 1977?? Ridiculous.

    Keep a close eye on all the graphs in that…almost w/o fail you can see the crisis began in 2005.”

    This wasn’t an issue before Carter appeared. It became a serious issue at the beginning of this decade.

    Socialists guised in the “liberal” moniker defended their failed programs, pocketed the money, and shot down reform proposed by the WH and individuals like senator McCain.

    That is the record. Trying to delude yourself into believing something other than the truth makes you look ridiculous.

    Comment by kal (4db540) — 9/27/2008 @ 5:10 pm

  36. Peter, your willful ignorance has limited amusement value.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/27/2008 @ 5:11 pm

  37. Sorry if my distaste for propaganda doesn’t make your day Herr Commandante.

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 9/28/2008 @ 12:33 pm

  38. Peter, your distaste seems not to extend to your own propaganda. “Herr Commandante” ? You remain classless, Peter.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2008 @ 12:46 pm

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